GMO arquitectura has restored a small listed house — or ‘mas’ — in rural catalonia, spain, transforming it into a vacation home for short term lets. named ‘caseta de las brugueras’, the renovation stays true to the original architecture with just a few well-placed elements that hint at a contemporary intervention.
the property is located amid the rugged countryside of priorat, an area of volcanic origin. settling into the landscape, caseta de las brugueras is composed of two adjacent naves that were built at different times, and which are positioned at different levels due to the natural slope of the land.
GMO arquitectura‘s main challenge with this project was to rehabilitate the structure, respecting and giving value to what was already there. this involved reinforcing the existing slab through a compression layer with connectors in the existing wooden beams and raising the level of the roof with a perimeter ring beam.
the new raised roof utilizes the old wooden beams and more than half of the original roof tiles. as well as using reclaimed materials, the architects were able to improve the thermal comfort of the house by adding thicker insulation. GMO arquitectura also integrated photovoltaic panels to provide the house with electricity as it’s not connected to the main network.
an important requirement for the client was to create a double-height living and dining space. to provide circulation between this space and the second floor, the design team built a metal walkway that allows light to penetrate while giving the architecture a subtle contemporary touch.
as it’s a listed property, the amount of glazing was restricted to ensure the house retains its original character. a few small windows and velux rooflights overcome this obstacle, bringing in natural ventilation and gorgeous sunlight, which highlights the rough stone walls and old structural timber.